Don Rush

Assoc. Program Director- Sr. Producer News and Public Affairs

Don Rush is the News Director at Public Radio Delmarva (WSCL/WSDL) in Salisbury, Maryland on the campus of Salisbury University. He has spent the last 35 years in broadcast journalism specializing in national politics. Before coming to Salisbury he spent 12 years in Washington DC with the Pacifica Network News bureau. During the 1980’s he was News Director at KFPK in his home town of Los Angeles. He also worked for the Los Angeles based wire and audio news service CNS/RNW. Locally, he has become an award winning journalist covering everything from development and environmental issues to local politics.

Don Rush

There will be no field trips to Baltimore by Wicomico county public school students.

The West Salisbury Elementary School was supposed to have gone to the Baltimore Zoo today but officials decided to call it off because of the disturbances in that city.            

Instead, the school buses picked up student and took them for a trip the National Zoo.

Meanwhile, WBOC reports students at Mardela Middle and High Schools also saw their trip to the Baltimore Zoo also canceled.

It would have been their second visit. 

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BALTIMORE (AP) - Baltimore streets once filled with rock- and bottle-throwing protesters were quiet and nearly empty of civilians as residents heeded an overnight curfew enforced by 3,000 police and National Guardsmen.

The curfew, in effect from 10 p.m. Tuesday to 5 a.m. Wednesday, got off to a rocky start, when as many as 200 protesters showed no immediate signs of going home.

University of Maryland Eastern Shore

Route 13 in Princess Anne found students blocking traffic yesterday to protest the death of 25 year old Freddie Gray who died after suffering a severe spinal injury while in police custody.

According to the University the demonstration consisted of 75 to 100 students and began at the school before making its way to Route 13.

Traffic was halted for around 10 minutes before 20 to 30 officers arrived on the scene.

The university said that many of the students came from the Baltimore area.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - A state Senate committee is set to consider legislation allowing terminally ill patients access to experimental medicines that have not received final approval from the Food and Drug Administration.

The so-called "Right to Try" bill was to be discussed Wednesday in the Health and Social Services committee.

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The Delaware Senate gave the final okay to a measure that clamps a moratorium on all new charter schools in Wilmington through 2018.

The measure now goes to the Governor for his signature.

But the Senate vote fell along party lines with Republicans charging that the measure is part of an anti-charter school movement in the state legislature.

The state House of Representatives and the Senate are controlled by Democrats.

The measure comes after the Wilmington Education Advisory Committee called for a temporary halt on additional charter schools in that city.

Snow Hill Police Badge

SNOW HILL, Md. (AP) - The Snow Hill Police Department will swear in a new police chief next week.

The Daily Times of Salisbury reports James Pilchard will become the new chief May 4 in the eastern Maryland town. Pilchard will replace Kirk Daugherty, who announced last year he would be stepping down due to vision problems.

MSNBC

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan surveyed the damage done at the West Baltimore intersection where much of last night’s rioting began.

The Governor shook hands with many of the people who came to clean up the streets that had seen burned cars, smashed police vehicles broken glass and plumes of smoke from a convenience store.

And, he declared, that the state of Maryland would not leave the city unprotected.

A state of emergency has been declared in the city with around 2-thousand National Guardsmen expected to be deployed to the city.

CNN/WJZ

Baltimore was shaken last night as looter roamed the streets, smashing windows and beating up one photographer who tried to take their picture.

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan has called in the National Guard and a curfew is being imposed today from 10 p.m. tonight through 5 a.m.

The governor also declared a state of emergency.

A CVS store and a new senior center were burned down as spot fires dotted the city.

Some 15 police are believed to have been injured while around two dozen arrests have been made.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - The state Senate is poised to vote on a bill establishing a moratorium on new charter schools in Delaware.

The legislation to be voted on Tuesday creates a moratorium until June 2018 or until the state school board develops a strategic plan for the number of charter, traditional and vocational/technical schools in Delaware.

The legislation also calls for input to be accepted from the mayor and city council of Wilmington before any new charters are approved there.

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NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - An annual survey by marine officials shows a significant increase in the number of blue crabs in the Chesapeake Bay.

The Virginia Marine Resources Commission says the overall bay-wide crab population increased from 297 million crabs to 411 million crabs, a 38 percent increase. The increased numbers followed regulations by Virginia, Maryland and the Potomac Fisheries Commission that reduced commercial crab harvests by 10 percent. Officials say that reduction helped rebuild the population.

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A drug lab scandal could jeopardize a number of closed drug cases in Delaware – even those where the defendant confessed.

The Office of the Public Defender is questioning another state chemist who was disciplined three separate times for not handling evidence properly.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that court documents show Assistant Public Defender Nicole Walker has argued that this misconduct could cause credibility problems in other cases.

Walker argued that the Division of Forensic Science is still not functioning as it should.

Towson University Website

TOWSON, Md. (AP) - Towson University officials have given an all-clear after the school's library and media center were evacuated after a man called school police and said he was in the library with a gun.

University spokesman Ray Feldmann said by phone that the man called the university police communications center about 6:30 p.m. Monday. Feldmann says the man said he was in Cook Library and armed with a gun.

Uber Comes to Salisbury

Apr 28, 2015
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You can now use the Uber car service in Salisbury.

City Council President Jake Day told WBOC that he was not aware that the service was now operating in the town but added he thought it was only a matter of time.

And, he called it, a great service.

The Maryland General Assembly approved legislation this year that requires drivers to have criminal background checks and vehicle inspections.

Day said there might be some needed alterations in city regulations with the coming of Uber.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Democratic state lawmakers have introduced legislation making it easier for local governments to acquire and redevelop abandoned and vacant real estate.

The legislation, which is the subject of a committee hearing Wednesday, allows local governments to form "land banks" to acquire vacant and abandoned properties.

The bill allows local jurisdictions to form land banks if 3 percent of residential structures have been uninhabited for 6 months or more.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Six university presidents have formally agreed to work together on challenges facing Virginia's coastal and ocean communities.

The Virginia Sea Grant charter was signed Monday in Richmond by the presidents of George Mason, Old Dominion, Virginia Commonwealth, Virginia Tech, the University of Virginia and William & Mary.

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Baltimore, Md. (AP)  - Members of Freddie Gray's family are among the last group of mourners filing into the church before the man's funeral in Baltimore.

His mother Gloria Darden was first to reach the casket on Monday sobbed and dropped to her knees.

She straightened out the tie on Gray's body before she was led to the front-row pew.

Other mourners approached her to offer condolences through handshakes and hugs.  

A projector aimed at two screens on the walls beside the pulpit show the words "Black Lives Matter & All Lives Matter" in red lettering.

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WASHINGTON (AP) - The White House says the head of President Barack Obama's initiative for minority males will attend the funeral of a Baltimore man who died after sustaining serious injuries while in police custody.

Broderick Johnson, the chairman of the My Brother's Keeper Task Force, will represent the administration at Monday's funeral for Freddie Gray. Johnson is also the Cabinet secretary.

Gray is the 25-year-old black man who died a week after an encounter with Baltimore police left him with grave spinal injuries. He is being buried Monday in Baltimore.

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There have been a large number of pardons being issued in Delaware.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that Governor Jack Markell has issued nearly 16-hundred during his six years in office.

Most of them are for minor offenses.

The governor’s office says that the pardons are important in giving people with criminal records a second chance and not to be stigmatized for the rest of their lives.

But the paper reports that the state does not follow the outcomes of those who have been given a pardon.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - A state economic development panel is set to vote on a request by Wells Fargo Bank for more than $1.3 million in taxpayer grants to help offset costs associated with relocating and creating new jobs in New Castle County.

The Council on Development Finance was to meet Monday to consider the proposal, which state officials say involves the bank's commitment to add 180 jobs in Delaware by 2018.

Wells Fargo is asking for a Strategic Fund performance grant of up to $1.3 million and a Strategic Fund capital expenditure grant of up to $60,000. 

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Rehoboth Beach has a new noise ordinance that defines what it is and how loud it can be.

The town has established – what is called – a plainly audible standard in residential areas.

WBOC reports that this is a method that is used to identify a noise disturbance.

This is aside from simply measuring the number of decibels.

The measure is an effort to bring down the number of late night disturbances that involve rental units of more than 20 to 30 people

Appalachian Harvest Website

DUFFIELD, Va. (AP) - In Virginia's southwestern tip lies a produce aggregator that's become a standout success among Appalachian nonprofits by helping farmers in remote areas sell to big grocers.

Appalachian Harvest has grown to a $1.5 million business that derives only a sliver of its budget from grants while delivering vegetables to grocers including Whole Foods, Ingles and Food City.

To develop its business from scratch, Appalachian Harvest has fine-tuned how it helps farmers while expanding from organic to conventional crops and learning a crash-course in trucking.

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LURAY, Va. (AP) - An increase in entrance fees at Shenandoah National Park goes into effect this week.

The fee increases are being implemented in two stages.

Beginning Friday, the fee for an annual park pass will increase from $30 to $40. The fee will increase to $50 on Jan. 1, 2017.

Motorists will pay $20 per vehicle for up to seven days, up from $15. The fee will increase to $25 on Jan. 1, 2017. A similar fee for motorcyclists will increase from $10 to $15, and then to $20 on Jan. 1, 2017.

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Police say a 29 year old man has died from a single gunshot around 4 a.m. Sunday on North New St. in Dover.

Police say they found the body of David Clark on the sidewalk with a gunshot to his upper body.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that police say he was pronounced dead at the scene.

The city police say they are continuing their investigation and said there was no additional information at this time. 

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MIDDLETOWN, Del. (AP) - New Castle County Police are investigating the death of a 20-year-old man.

Police responded to a Middletown home after getting a call around 2 a.m. Sunday. When officers arrived, they found people attempting life-saving efforts on the man. Paramedics took him to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Police say the investigation into how the man died is in its preliminary stages.

Tower Hill School Website

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - The former headmaster of an elite prep school founded by members of the du Pont family was sentenced to 50 years in prison for dealing in child pornography.

Christopher Wheeler was convicted in December on 25 counts of dealing child porn.

Wheeler is a former headmaster at Tower Hill school in Wilmington, whose graduates include DuPont Co. CEO Ellen Kullman, U.S. Sen. Chris Coons and television personality Dr. Oz.

Wheeler waived his right to a jury trial after the judge denied a defense motion to suppress evidence seized by police.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Authorities say a fire at Dover mobile home park has destroyed three house trailers and displaced 16 people.
 
The Delaware State Fire Marshal's office says blaze was reported around 2:30 a.m. Friday at the Grandview Mobile Home Park on Little Creek Road.  When firefighters arrived, they found one home engulfed and flames spreading to two neighboring homes.  
 
Officials say 16 people, including eight children, were able to escape from the three homes and no injuries were reported.
 

Essay: Guns and College

Apr 24, 2015
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With more and more laws allowing guns in public places, some have suggested that college campuses be opened up for the right to bear arms. But, Delmarva Public Radio's Essayist George Merrill ponders mixing the age of innocence with the age of the gun. 

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Hundreds of people marched last night to the Baltimore City Hall to protest the death of 25 year old Freddie Gray who suffered a mysterious spinal injury while apparently in police custody.

This week saw a series of marches which have been largely peaceful.

Once incident caught by CNN showed police taking two demonstrators into custody.

Maryland State troopers were on hand to help commuters and traffic congestion.

Governor Larry Hogan said that he had sent 32 troops to the city at the request of the mayor.

Don Rush

In the ongoing dispute over fire and EMS service Wicomico County Executive Bob Culver has some questions about any agreement with the city of Salisbury.

Mayor Jim Ireton has threatened to cut off city fire and EMS service to surrounding county areas by July 1st  if city taxpayers are not given some form of tax relief for those services.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that many of the questions center on funding mechanisms.

The two sides are to meet on April 28th to discuss the issue.

Salisbury University Website

Few get to work with the Hubble Space Telescope.

But Gerardo Vazquez an astrophysicist at Salisbury University got a chance of a lifetime.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that six years ago one of his ideas got the okay from the scientific committee that oversees the telescope.

And Vazquez even got a chance to work the telescope’s space arm for several years as he labored on his doctorate.

He told the Daily Times that he has been allowed to work on figuring out why the cores of some galaxies are brighter than others.

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